If Picasso Painted 'Alice in Wonderland'...

The algorithm pretending to be Frida Kahlo, van Gogh, and more gets its trip on in Gene Kogan's, 'Why is a Raven Like a Writing Desk?'

by Beckett Mufson
Sep 17 2015, 1:20pm

Image courtesy the artist

Alice in Wonderland, the counterculture favorite among all of Disney's animated offerings, gets even less lucid thanks to #deepdream's more cultured older cousin, "style transfer" (a.k.a.  #stylenet), which uses neural networks to apply the "textures" of famous artists to photographs. 

Net artist Kyle McDonald showed us some of his experiments with applying the technique to video, and it looks like programmer Gene Kogan has been exploring the same uncharted territory with his new video, Why is a Raven Like a Writing Desk?, which remixes the adaptation of Lewis Carrol's psychotropic kids' book to look like paintings in the styles of Picasso, O'Keeffe, Hokusai, Frida Kahlo, van Gogh, and many more. "In principle, any style image works, but the best style images to use are those which have strong textural components and patterns," Kogan writes on GitHub.

In Why is a Raven Like a Writing Desk?, Kogan focuses on the already-trippy tea party riddle scene, transforming it into a de facto art history lesson that you won't forget, given that you'll be whipping it out at every smoking circle you visit for the next few months. Check out the video, along with a few of our favorite selects from the psychedelic gallerist's daydream, below. 

Pablo Picasso. Screencaps via

S.H. Raza


Frida Khalo

Vincent Van Gogh

Sol Lewitt

Try out the program yourself with an instructional github gist. See more of Gene Kogan's work on his website.


Was This Psychedelic Image Made by Man or Machine?

Google's Psychedelic AI Art Takes Twitter by Storm

Add or Delete a Painter's Style Using Neural Algorithms

This Is What Computers Dream of When They Look at Art

Deep Dream
neural networks
alice in wonderland
Kyle McDonald
style transfer
gene kogan
style net